Sunday, March 4, 2012

Winning is a choice - Just ask Team Sheen

Those who know me are aware of "Autism vs. Neesha," the biggest challenge of my life. On March 14, 1998, I hatched a beautiful, bouncy baby boy who was born with a fractured left collar bone. Per doctor's orders, I had to keep him wrapped like a burrito most of the time for the first month of his life in order to keep him from moving his arm too much. It was the only way to help his bone heal, I was told. My emotions were just as fractured as his collar bone because, as any good mom would agree, her child's pain is her own. No kid could have possibly gotten more love and affection than my two sons. My method of putting them to sleep as babies was soft kissies all over their sweet, little faces until they dozed into dreamland. Fourteen years later, that baby you see is a 5'6'', 155-pound young man with a fully growing beard that needs shaving every 3-4 days, a deep, powerful voice ... and autism.

Just yesterday, we went to visit my parents, and he flew into a rage, screaming as loud as his lung capacity would allow, projectile spitting, throwing things, slamming things, hitting himself and broke his favorite video game controller. I fought back tears as I stood in front of him trying to be the tough, stern mom when all I wanted to do was hug him, kiss his prickly face and beg him to speak instead of scream about what was bugging him. He screamed straight in my face without a speck of hesitation, and it caused me an instant migraine. It normally does, because I have super sensitive ears. This is my life. I experience this same scene so frequently that I sometimes turn into a zombie, screw up at work, lose track of important tasks and business projects, forget to check messages, forget to pay bills, double pay others and break into random crying spells.

I feel sorry for my baby. What would I do if I couldn't vent about my frustrations or express when I have a cookie craving!? I understand his screaming in a way, because I would explode, too, if I couldn't express what I felt or wanted. Even if he has a headache or if some sound or smell is annoying him, he cannot SAY it. He just screams. By observation, I notice sometimes he creates his own stress relief. I've seen him just lay on his bed and sing. He likes to stare at a TV station that isn't showing anything, like the ones that just show ordering information. He likes music now and then and will listen to the same song dozens of times. He laughs out loud for no apparent reason. Other than that, he doesn't allow me to create any activities for him. He refuses everything and, if forced, he'll bawl!
But in the end, I win. He's healthy and strong. My work is always top notch. I stumble a lot, but I don't fall. I count my blessings over and over every day. I say a prayer for those who have it way worse than me. I cry it all out. I vent to my loving husband and close friends who are my saving grace a million times over. All I have to do is look around, and I see how blessed I am, down to the soft, fluffy pillows that cradle me anytime I need them, the nice clothes I have to wear with 47 pairs of shoes to choose from and never a shortage of food and drink. No major illness. No unsolvable problem, aside from autism for which I am determined to find a remedy for my child's recent bouts of erratic behavior. Something's gotta give. This cannot be a hopeless case!

At first, I would sulk about being stuck in the house all the time, unable to go out and enjoy fun times like other people due to his spontaneous screaming. I find myself seething at other people's tales of vacation adventures, parties, get-togethers; even simple things like going out to dinner and grocery shopping is an act of Congress in my world. Yea, it's tough. But this is the hand I was dealt by God, and anything from Him is a gift. So I take a deep breath and endure.

Many people (including my parents after what they witnessed yesterday) tell me, "I don't know how you deal with all this!" Well, first of all, I pray a WHOLE lot. There's a list of other weird things I do, too. While the spawn is screaming or having a not-so-pleasant day and I find myself stuck inside these four walls, I ...  

Wrote a bookI of the Storm, available on Amazon. Just click on the book cover image in the upper left of this page. I'm a determined woman! And I will write books and build my business,, until I have a solid empire, doing what I love and being around full-time for my kids and family.

Watch The Golden Girls, Law & Order: SVU, King of Queens and Monk marathons whenever they are on. Can you tell I love comedy and crime?

Clean my already-clean house with Caribbean music playing in the background.

Create arts and crafts. Graphic art, wall decor and canvas art are my favorites. Find me on Pinterest ( to see some of my creations. Concentrating on an art project is my replacement for going on vacation. If my body can't leave, then I send my mind away instead.

Study grammar and punctuation rules.

Write articles and short stories. This has been a mental massage tactic of mine since I was a kid. I still have some of the stories I hand-wrote as a pre-teen. Funny stuff. And scary cool how much I haven't changed since then.

Lay around and think. I could do this one forever. Well, until my stomach starts growling.

Listen to old school music that takes me back to times when life was much simpler.

Watch movies thanks to Netflix and DirecTV.

Read! Another means of sending my mind away on vacation.

Learn something new. I have lots of books I've bought over the years that offer how-to lessons. I bust those out when I need a distraction. Or Google is the other option. As in one of my previous posts, you can see that I learned about the sloth because of a typo that led me there.
Eat chocolate.

Play e-games like Scrabble, Words With Friends and Mahjong.

Rearrange my closet.


Watch stand-up comedy and belly dancing clips on Youtube.

Text (or BBM) people who make me happy.

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